Victorian pierced silver-tone metal "Nurse's Belt". It is 30" long, including the buckle, which is 3 1/2" x 3 1/4". The body of the belt is 1 3/4" wide.
The individual links are pierced and embossed with a design of birds on the body of the belt, and a mythical animal surrounded by foliage and flowers on the buckle. Each link is very slightly different, as the work was done by hand. The design looks oriental to me. It was brought from the UK, but may have been made in the Far East.
The metal is not marked, but has a "silvered" or silver wash finish. The base metal seems to be a copper alloy.
There is little evidence that these belts were actually worn by nurses. The name seems to come from the style of the buckle, which hooks to both sides with a simple hook. Belt buckles with this mechanism were part of the early nurse's outfit. These elaborate belts were part of the Arts and Craft's Movement, which treasured handmade items.
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Heirloom and Vintage Jewelry, Antiques and Fine Collectibles
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